It seems like therapy has become, trendy, fashionable if you will, another thing to add to the myriad of items in pop culture. Everyone is throwing around buzz words like…triggers, narcissism, triangulation, etc. It almost feels like your thoughts or opinions aren’t valid unless you weave in at some point that you have a therapist.
Now I am defiantly a proponent of therapy, would never discourage anyone from getting therapy, I would even recommend it for a few of y’all LOL, but seriously, therapy is great and very useful for equipping yourself with tools to navigate life.
I do, however, need you to understand something about therapy. It is HARD WORK. One of the very first things your therapist will ask you is…What do you want to get out of therapy? Pretty simple and straightforward, right? WRONG! That is a loaded question if I’ve ever heard one. You may spout off, things like…I want to learn how to better navigate life’s obstacles. I want to be able to communicate my feelings better. And those are both admirable reasons to start therapy, but what I have learned is once you get on the proverbial couch, what you think you want changes. I can admit that when I first began my journey with therapy, I had lofty goals of learning this, being better at that, shedding this, and that…what I didn’t realize is that to get to that you have to unveil SO MANY THINGS! Things you think have no bearing on your current life, but indeed have bearing on ALL THE THINGS in your life!!! Then you can begin the work on the things you want to get out of therapy.
Please don’t be lulled into thinking therapy is neat, clean, palatable, and pleasant. It is messy, dirty, frustrating, annoying, and downright hard! And it's hard because you are literally rewiring your brain to tolerate uncertainty, anxiety, and feelings…OMG so many feelings! You are going to feel uncomfortable some days, but there are glimpses of light as you begin to see, understand, and put the pieces of the puzzle together.
If you just remind yourself why you want to do this work, you will reap benefits!
After all that Nisha, how in the world could I benefit? I’m so glad you asked. Here are 4 long term benefits of doing the work of therapy:
1. Coping Skills – ANYTHING that helps you handle life. Your therapist may suggest ways for you to handle anxiety or communicate with a difficult family member. Also, journaling, exercise, bubble baths, all can help you “cope” with everyday life.
2. Feel Happier – Talking about your past is key to helping you understand your present. Self-understanding gives you the ability to understand and embrace who you are at your core.
3. Problem Solving – Problems will come in life but having the tools to face them can make life a bit easier.
4. Hope – Processing the past gives us hope for our future!
In my opinion, therapy is VERY necessary. You just have to be ready to put in the work. You CAN do this, but it is a journey. There will be tough days full of tears, but there will also be days when there are no tears at all. Just remember, it’s all to become your very best self.